A Vancouver time travelogue brought to you by Past Tense.
The Beatles first and last Vancouver show was 48 years ago today at Empire Stadium. The best part of this recording is the blow-by-blow CKNW radio coverage (starting at 28:17) by the three Jacks – Cullen, Wasserman, and Webster.
With only 100 police on duty and tens of thousands of hysterical fans, the Beatles played for just 29 minutes before police and manager Brian Epstein shut it down. John Lennon famously told Red Robinson to get the fuck off the stage when he came out to try and quiet the crowd down. About a dozen fans had managed to get in by crashing through the gates.
Earlier in the evening, thousands of fans gathered at the Hotel Georgia, where the band was expected to be staying. A red car with a guy that sorta looked like Ringo got swarmed, and fans swiped a couple of police revolvers, leading the police chief to disarm his men. Dozens of fans were treated at the PNE and at St Paul’s for minor injuries and hysteria.
As for the performance itself, the Vancouver Sun’s music critic was less than impressed:
Aside from their haircuts (or lack of them) and Mersey-side accents, I perceived nothing that made them better or worse than any number of less ballyhooed groups, either as vocalists or instrumentalists. They sounded just as loud, just as monotonous, and just as unmusical … I do not know how it came, why it came and when it will go away. But go away the Beatle phenomenon will, and with it will go The Beatles. The day has yet to come. When it does, music lovers everywhere can rejoice – yeah, yeah, yeah.
You can listen to the press conference the band gave before the concert here.
Source: alphajpgr0 on YouTube